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What Is New

October 1997

Thursday October 30, 1997

  • Al and Gracie visited Henrietta the other day.  She’s a tortoise.  No, not the tortoise from the story “The Tortoise and the Hare”  Henrietta lives in a small wooden box and loves to eat rose petals.  Al thought her life seemed a bit slow.  “What?  You don’t have a computer in that box?”  “Where’s the fiber, the T1 line, the Cisco router?”  Al knows his servers are using redundant T3 lines and multiple T1 lines.  Braggart.  Yet, Al’s owner still uses that same 14.4 modem. 
  • Al and Gracie were discussing the number of bytes served so far this year.  According to Al, it’s over 11 billion bytes.  Gracie insists his math is a bit low by about a half a billion.  She agrees that server statistics are never accurate enough to know who is watching - but Gracie thinks he subtracted too much for people just reloading the same web page. (click - reload)
  • According to Abit, the LX6 will not be available for testing until the middle of November.
  • Crucial Technology updated their product and pricing links again. Plus, they added laptop memory. You may still order at the same place. Remember, if you order directly from Crucial, they pick up the shipping charge.
  • We have one T2P4S in stock.
  • We updated the way our example workstations are displayed. We hope it’s easier to read.
  • GigaByte’s 586ATX3 board has USB on board. We’ll add this to our product line. It is the same price as 586ATX2.
  • The GigaByte 686DLX will be released around Comdex time. We’re hoping to receive a sample board next week.
  • A component used to make 64 and 128 Mb SDRAM were short in last week’s market. Corsair and Advantage are continuing to receive shipments of these parts, although all companies may experience some delays throughout the remainder of the year.
  • We receive requests each day about memory for a Micronics, Gateway, Dell, Compaq, and other machines. You may go to Corsair  (www.corsairmicro.com), Crucial (www.micron.com/crucial/escprod.html), or Advantage Memory (www.advantagememory.com) to find part numbers. If you give us the part number, we can give you pricing information.

Wednesday October 29, 1997

  • The ASUS P2L97-DS arrived for testing.

Tuesday October 28, 1997

  • IBM buys back stock
  • Intel Pentium II 300 MHz Boxed Processors are on allocation.  Intel is expected to increase the size of shipments in November.
  • Several readers ask us weekly for RMA information.  Several months ago we made a policy change.  Components with RMA’s greater than a particular percentage were dropped from our product offerings.  We were already being careful, but we expanded the rules for acceptance into our product line. 
    Therefore, instead of listing each component’s RMA separately, we’d like to clarify why particular products are dropped from our product line.  Over the years we have learned that the markup for a product must equal at least 3 times the RMA rate.  Regardless of the volume, this formula holds for profitability.  One third represents purchasing replacement product, two thirds for overhead and profit.  For example, if the RMA rate rises above 5 percent, the markup for the product must be greater than 15 percent. 
    For motherboards, the RMA rate must be below 3 percent.  Very few motherboard manufacturers reach this goal; ASUS, AOpen, Gigabyte, and Intel have reached this marker consistently with second or third revisions of a model.  First revisions of all motherboards have much higher RMA rates. 
    For processors the RMA rate must be below 1 percent.  Intel and AMD Processors are significantly below this rate.
    For hard drives, the RMA rate is a different factor.  Western Digital works directly with post sales RMAs.  Therefore our numbers may not be accurate.

Monday October 27, 1997

  • Technical stocks are taking a beating.
  • Intel boxed processors drop in price.  Price drop ranges from 20-30 percent.
  • Intel boxed motherboard prices are lowered.
  • We added more instructions for installing Windows 95 OSR2.

Friday October 24, 1997

  • Western Digital Retail drives are available. Capacities we offer are 4.3 Gb, 5.0 Gb, and 6.4 Gb.
  • All orders for the boxed processors taken today and this weekend will have the price protection for the expected Intel price drop, October 26.  We will adjust your invoice total after we have the final figures from Intel.
  • Intel Pentium 180 Mhz Overdrive processors with MMX technology are past due at distributors.
  • Have you checked out our new Pentium II motherboard comparison chart?
  • We updated our “about esc” info.
  • Lora will be gone until Wednesday.
  • Are you watching the stock market today?  The announcement by Intel concerning Flash Memory sure has the tech stocks moving.
  • To update the PC Power & Cooling Fan - K1.  A 5/64” hex bit can be used to remove or attach rivscrews.

Thursday October 23, 1997

  • Super7 is the term AMD designates for their extension of the socket 7.  The details from AMD suggest a 100 MHz bus and 100 MHz interface to the L2 cache.  There is also talk of adding 24 instructions, creating a superscalar MMX unit.  Intel’s MMX-2 instructions will probably be in the Katmai, expected in 1999.
  • Slot A is a code name for the slot 1 compatible package expected in the AMD K7.
  • The IA-32 and IA-64 terms keep hanging around in the press.  Did you know that the IA stands for Intel Architecture?  There has been a subtle separation of Intel’s Merced (IA-64), the first chip (and associated chipsets) to be released in 1999, and a second chip (twice as fast and 0.18-micron) to be released in 2002.
  • The AMD K6 3D may roll out as early as the first half of 1998.
  • All orders for the boxed processor products taken today and tomorrow will have the price protection for the expected Intel price drop, October 26.  We will adjust your invoice total after we have the final figures from Intel.
  • Al and Gracie were fighting over where to bury their bones in the back yard.  Since Al is the larger dog, his growl can be a bit fierce.  It’s low pitched and very short lived.  There is the warning and then the teeth.  That is why he is the guard dog.  Gracie, on the other hand, is bossy.  She’s little, gets picked on by the cat, and has decided to ‘talk back’ when UPS gives her only one bone instead of two. Her growls almost sound like a bawling out.  Resellers these days seem to be growling too.  Dell is barking that it has the best business model, Gateway is growling that it has the best price, and etailers are marking their territories on the internet.  We aren’t too sure if this business has gone to the dogs, but we hope everyone can at least keep a bit of humor.
  • After giving Intel some pokes, we thought we might want to congratu late them for their attempts to get information to their resellers.  Last night we spoke with a representative who described yesterday’s dealer meeting as carnage (scavengers being resellers and Intel being attacked).  We may give them a tickle or two, but carnage seems a bit extreme.  We hope the Intel representatives have a much better day today.
  • Users of the AOpen AP5T-3 should be careful not to combine it with the Trident TGUI9680-1 Chipset based VGA cards.
  • As a reminder to some of you - the domain name einsteinscomputer.com will no longer be accessible in a short time.  Instead please use esc-tech.com, esctechnologies.com, esc-ca.com, or esc-technologies.com.  We extended the time of the domain for an extra two months, but the time is about over.  Please, fix your bookmarks.

Wednesday October 22, 1997

  • AMD plans to release an AMD-K6 266 MHz in December and a AMD-K6 / 300 MHz toward the end of 1st quarter ‘98. AMD-K6 3D and AMD-K6+  3D are on the horizon (when? we don’t know yet). AMD-K7 is expected to be introduced in ‘99.
  • Intel is planning on releasing a series of new LX boards: AL440LX, R440LX, DK440LX, MB440LX, and RC440LX. Marketing for these boards is aimed at small business intranets. The AL440LX, DK440LX, and R440LX will be introduced through the Boxed program. Intel will honor 3 year warranties on these boards. The DK440LX is an entry level server. The R440LX is an dual all purpose server. The MB440LX is a dual board that is I2O ready. The RC440LX is intended as a small mid-sized entry server marketed for internet and mail servers.
  • Intel Boxed Pentium II 266 MHz processors with ECC are expected late this quarter. Again, Intel Pentium II 333 Mhz are expected to be released the first half of ‘98.
  • Don’t be surprised if you open your Boxed Pentium and it doesn’t have the samplers. Intel removed the MMX technology samplers temporarily from all SKUs of Boxed Pentium processors with MMX technology beginning October 6th.

Tuesday October 21, 1997

  • Digital versus Intel versus the world.  This topic seems to be in every trade magazine.  Will Digital move forward with the 750 MHz Alpha processor?  A Mitsubishi representative commented that he didn’t expect Intel to get the Alpha chip.  Will Intel delay the slot 2 until 3rd quarter?  Why are the Gateway ads still talking about Pentium® processors?  Will Al and Gracie ever agree on the lifespan of the socket 7?  Yes, these are exciting times.
  • Now enters Microsoft’s woes.  The 1 dollar a day fine.  Opps, make that the 1 million dollars a day fine for alleged antitrust violations.  Eh, what’s the difference to Microsoft?  Seems that their stock went up after the announcement.  Go figure.
  • Thinking of unknowns, we have not seen the 300 MHz AMD K6.  Apparently this processor keeps up with some of the Intel P2MTs.  Despite AMDs financial lose we are all pulling for them to produce faster and cooler CPUs.
  • Happy Birthday Larry.
  • Albert is slobbering over a 1941 Ford Business Coupe street rod.  It seems that Al is excited about the wide whitewall tires.  Hmmm... it has all the modern amenities.  If you would like more information, call HiPoint Auto Sales at 916-671-1217.   This place even makes deliveries.
  • Nerd joke:  “What did the guy say when his parrot flew away?”  Polly gone.
  • Question of the day.  Do you offer dual Pentium II motherboards?  Can I get a Quad Pentium II motherboard?
    The ASUS P2L97-DS will be available in the next couple of weeks.  We are still searching for one to benchmark. 
    The LX AGPset from Intel will only operate up to 2 processors.  If you are interested in mainboards wtih more than 2 processors, then you will need to look at the pentium pro motherboards.  Intel has even announced licensing of the 8-way pentium pro processors.  In terms of the P2MT, you will need to wait for the 450NX AGPset.  Hurry up and wait.

Monday October 20, 1997

  • Interesting article: “Intel Competitors Have New Vision For Socket 7”
  • Einstein is back and he has a new keyboard.  This one has been modified for his larger paws.  The keystoke timing is also different than the ones we use.  The natural keyboard from Microsoft may be ergonomic for our shapes and sizes but not for Albert;  his paws don’t bend the same way as ours bend.  Neither does his tail.  In fact, he’d like to thank everyone who sent him a get well card or email.  Presently, Einstein is snoring in his box.  His tail is still a bit tender and bent.  After the pickup door slammed on his tail.... he’s glad it is all behind him now.
  • During his travels through Bakersfield, a van load of people passed by Einstein.  They hung out the window saying “here puppy, puppy.”  Luckily Einstein’s fame hasn’t gone to his head.  He just stared.  He was busy thinking about a new book he is reading, The 500 year delta (ISBN 0-88730-838-4). This book written by Jim Taylor and Watts Wacker has him fascinated.  Maybe the authors are right and we are entering the age of chaos or maybe Einstein is just being overly anxious.  Then again, how would you feel if your tail was caught in a jam?
  • But not all of the talk today should be about Einstein.  Gracie has also been busy working.  Lately she’s tried to explain “just in time” inventory. It seems the whole industry has moved to this concept.  First, you place the order.  Then we place the order with the manufacturer or supplier.  The manufacturer makes the product or the supplier buys the product. We receive the product, review the product and then ship it to you.  This takes time and patience.
  • The new PC Power & Cooling P2MT fan arrived today.  There are two ways to attach the unit to the processor package.  One way is to use Rivscrews.  The other method is a double sided tape.  Since many of you don’t have the tool for the screws, that leaves you with using the tape.
  • Have you read about Direct Rambus?  RIMMs are the future memory modules.  According to Rambus they will have modules operating at 800 MHz.  The downside is that a heat sink will be required.
  • A US judge has approved a deal whereby Intel will have to pay a $50 rebate to round-about 600,000 people in the States who bought OverDrives in 1995.  You might want to get out your receipt and contact Intel on this one. 
  • For those of you interested in the Abit IT5H revision 2.0, we are receiving a limited quantity.  If you would like the motherboard, please give us a call at 1-800-427-3726.
  • Happy Birthday Larry.

Friday October 16, 1997

  • So you’re asking, “What happened to Thursday’s What’s New?” Well, Einstein and Gracie were busy working on systems in the tech room. Rod was gone for the day.
  • We updated our policies section.
  • Einstein and Layne will be gone today. They’ll be back Monday.
  • Have you seen the little banners on our CPU and board pages? When we dropped th e banner exchanges we posted these rotating, internal links. (The banners aren’t working on esctechnologies.com and esc-technologies.com yet. We’ll fix them as soon as we can.)
  • Historically, Intel reduces their prices to distributors every 3 months. The next price drop is around October 30th to the beginning of November. We will let you know how our prices are changed as soon as we can. Typically, Boxed Processor price reductions are anywhere from no change on new items (i.e. Pentium II 300 MHz up to 20% on older items (i.e. Intel Pentium 166 with MMX technology).
  • Intel Boxed Pentium OverDrive 166 Mhz, 180 Mhz, and 200 Mhz processors with MMX technology may be used for upgrading your old socket 5 or socket 7 motherboard. Also, one of the least expensive way to upgrade an exisiting machine is to add more memory.

Wednesday October 15, 1997

  • We have an extra ASUS TX97-XE without audio in stock.
  • Yesterday residents and companies in the SIlicon Valley were watching the wildfire on the range east of Fremont.
  • This morning Einstein’s tail was broken in a pickup truck door. He’s now resting in his bed, trying to not wag his tail.

Tuesday October 14, 1997

  • AOpen AX5T-3.1 boards arrived. We will post results as soon as possible.
  • ABIT is releasing an extremely small number of IT5H rev 2 boards. If you are interested, we will place an order with ABIT for you. We appreciate your patience. Since Intel announced the end of life of the 430HX chipset, ABIT is working on alternatives.
  • We have extra Intel AN430TX motherboards arriving later this week, as well as extra ASUS T2P4 motherboards.
  • We received more ASUS AGPV3000 video cards. These extra video cards are available.
  • Have you seen our new, little banner links?

Monday October 13, 1997

  • More ASUS P2L97-S boards arrived.
  • We’re working on our installation guide. In the meantime, we have a few steps outlined for your use. It may be helpful to read them before you begin installing your components.
  • SuperMicro cases finally arrived. We appreciate everyone’s patience while we waited for the backorder to arrive.
  • Intel Boxed AL440LX board is still expected the last week of the month. We have noticed that OEM boards are on the market, but remember that Intel honors a 3 year warranty on their Boxed board whereas they do not honor a warranty on the OEM board.
  • ABIT is shipping their IT5H board rev 2.0in extremely small quantities. This board revision will have a short life since Intel announced end of life of their HX chipset.
  • AOpen AX5T-3 boards are still in the Q&A stage. We will let you know when AOpen releases the board to distributors.

Friday October 10, 1997

  • Today must be ASUS day.  We have ASUS P2L97-S motherboards in stock.  We also received more AGP V3000 Video Cards.  Other products include ASUS T2P4 and T2P4S mainboards.
  • Did you know that ASUS and GigaByte mainboards use the same PCB manufacturer?  In fact, the PCB company only makes them for ASUS and GigaByte.
  • We’d like to thank everyone who is looking at the books section of our website.  We’ve noticed a growing number of people interested in this area.  If you have read a particular book and would like to write a review then please let us know.  If it is well written and Al and Gracie enjoy reading it, then we will post it for others to read too.
  • Writing about Al and Gracie ... Albert is watching the stock market closely.  He doesn’t quite follow the logic that strange humans pervade.  His food bowl is full in the morning and full at night.  So why all the complaining in the press?  Sounds like a bunch of sour grapes.  In fact, he’d personally like to thank all of you for the wonderful feeling he gets from a full belly.  His only concern is that Gracie keeps trying to steal his food.  Now he just sleeps on top of the food bowl.
  • Gracie on the other hand is just scratching up a storm.  Seems she is itching to tell everyone about the GigaByte 686LX.  This mainboard matched with 266 MHz P2MT CPUs scores 79.7 Winstone97 units for overall business.  The testing was done with NT Server 4.0, 64 Mb Corsair SDRAM, Quantum 2.1 Gb UDMA hard drive, 800 x 600 resolution on the Matrox 2 Mb PCI video card.  The BIOS settings were default.
  • Have you looked at the information on the DK440LX mainboard?  Check out the Intel website for more details. This Intel motherboard is a proprietary ATX form factor dual P2MT board. Other features include an on board NIC (10/100) and on board audio.  It has a limited three year warranty.  The feature that stands out is the 1 Gigabyte of maximum EDO memory or 512 Mb SDRAM.  This should make an excellent entry level intranet server.

Thursday October 9, 1997

  • Preliminary benchmark results on AOpen AX6L-1 motherboard: Winstone97 business overall with a P2MT 233 MHz is 72; with P2MT 266 MHz is 76.7; and P2MT 300 MHz is 80. We were able to mix Corsair 64 Mb and 32 Mb with Advantage Memory 32 Mb DIMMs (Toshiba on AMC).
    Also, since this is a CPU jumperless board, the clock multiplier needs to be set for the CPU in the Award BIOS.
  • We have ASUS T2P4 motherboards in stock. Please call if you are interested. ASUS TX97 series boards are still rare. Hopefully, the situation will improve soon.
  • Reminder: Intel lowers their prices on Boxed products to distributors once every three months. The next expected change is the last week of October/first of November. Historically, we see changes anywhere from 5% to 20% on lower end products. We do not expect a change on Pentium II processors this time. We’ll see....
  • We have ASUS AGP3000 video cards in stock.
  • ABIT released a very small number of IT5H rev 2.0 last week. They will receive a few more next week. Hopefully, we will receive a few of these next boards. It is our understanding that ABIT is being cautious with the quantities on the market so they can make sure everything is going well with their product. We applaud them for this approach.

Wednesday October 8, 1997

  • We’ve had difficulty updating our pricing pages today. The Pentium II 300 MHz & 4x32EDO are still incorrect ($166 some odd dollars for 1 piece of 16 Mb generic EDO seems a bit excessive) on some sites. We’ll get it straightened out as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvience and confusion.
  • Reminder: Intel Pentium chipsets 430HX, 430VX, and 430TX support up to 66 Mhz. Settings beyond these are not intended for use by chipset design, nor by board and processor manufacturers. Using these settings is considered overclocking and voids your warranty with ESC and with manufacturers. Using these settings also adds stress to the motherboard, and can result in extreme damage to your system.
  • AOpen AX5T-3 motherboards are not available for shipping yet. We are still waiting on our shipment. We will keep you posted on availability.
  • Interesting articles:
    Chip Business Slowing Down;
    one about AMD ‘s production (It sounds like AMD needs to once again come up with a high performance processor that can compete against future Intel products. They certainly did so with the AMD-K6 at first release. We’ll look forward to future processors.);
    and Intel & DEC Alpha.
  • Intel was to announce yesterday a new chip aimed at network servers. The I/O processor (input/output) will be available with Intel System partners’ servers. Shipments are expected to begin in the next 3 months. This new I/O processor is to fill a market in addition to Intel’s Pentium and Pentium II processors.

Tuesday October 7, 1997

  • AMD-K6/233 processors are in extremely short supply.
  • Remember that AMD recommends that you only use AMD-tested motherboards listed on www.amd.com with an AMD processors. Motherboards not listed may often work with the AMD-K6 processors, but often have inadequate power supplies or insufficient capacitors. Moreover, they frequently use do not use a switching voltage regulator. Even if the motherboard works initially, insufficient, low-cost components often cause reliability & stability problems. (paraphrased from AMD reseller fax)
  • AOpen AX5T-3 boards should be available through distributors toward the end of this week.
  • GigaByte 586TX3 boards are available in the market.

Monday October 6, 1997

Friday October 3, 1997

  • We’d like to welcome everyone who has discovered us from the Intel website link.  For those of you who didn’t know, Intel recently added our company to their website as a place to purchase OverDrive Units. 
  • Question of the day.  I see that the motherboard I want has 7 slots plus an AGP.  The case I want only has seven ‘cut outs’ for my motherboard expansion slots.  What do I do?
    LX chipset boards on the market with the AGP slot do not exceed the seven places for the case.  First, most of the mainboards have lowered the number of ISA slots.  Second, If you look carefully at the motherboard there is a sharing of space between one of the ISA slots and the PCI slot next to it. 
    As a reminder, the components on the PCI card face the opposite direction of the ISA cards.  In other words, the ISA components face the PCI components.  Therefore, people in the industry call this space “shared.”   In fact, you will either use a PCI card or an ISA, but not both in this ‘shared space.’
    Once you have counted the usable number of ISA, PCI, and AGP slots then you will see that the number does not exceed seven.
  • An excellent reminder was provided to our technical support staff today.  There is a known conflict between the AMIBIOS and Adaptec BIOS version 1.25.  If you use Adaptec SCSI BIOS 1.23 you should be fine.
  • Please accept our apologies for those of you using the shopping cart these past three days.  We were uploading new images to make things easier.   It seems that the shopping cart is ‘locked out’ each time we were uploading files.  Therefore, unknown to us, some of you were knocked off.  

Thursday October 2, 1997

  • Question of the day.  Why should I purchase a Pentium® II with MMX Technology (P2MT) when I read that the AMD or Cyrix socket 7 CPUs are just as fast?
    First, the statement that the socket 7 CPUs are just as fast as the P2MT is not correct.  There are environments in which the socket 7 solution becomes close to the slower slot one CPUs, for example, integer performance measured by Winstone97.  Floating point and graphics environments, on the other hand, do much better with the P2MT. Using a P2MT will provide faster, real time video and image editing as well as PC entertainment with MPEG 2 video, AC-3 audio, and DVD media.
    Years ago, the argument for moving to a Pentium from a 486 was the focus of discussions.  The 60 and 66 MHz CPUs were actually slower than some 486 systems on the market.  Eventually, with newer clock speeds, it became clear that the Pentium CPUs provided the faster solution.  Prior to the 486, was the 386 argument.  Prior to that... well, you get the picture.
    With the introduction of the P2MT 300 MHz, there should not be any doubt that the faster performance is on the slot one.   Marketing aside, graphics have become extremely important to many people using their PCs.  The P2MT and AGP smooth out graphic images.  Presently, AGP is only on the slot one mainboards.  Other companies are considering AGP for the socket 7, but Intel will most likely not provide this chipset.
    In addition, this doesn’t imply that the P2MT is the only solution you should consider.  Overall cost of the system is extremely important.  If you earn money with your PC, then your ROI is greatest with the P2MT.  If you are using your machine for entertainment, eventually, you will move to the P2MT environment.  It only becomes an issue of when you decide to make the change. 
    If you change parts annually, then you should strongly consider making the move to the P2MT.  In other words, if you plan on keeping the machine for at least a year - and will never add new software - you can look at the socket 7 mainboards.  However, if you plan on keeping the machine for at least a year - and will add new software - you should only look at the P2MT.
    Please realize, we still know people who use CPM machines.  They do the job - and that is what is important to that person.  We are also not implying that RISC based CPUs are not excellent for people to consider.  We are only pointing out that the P2MT is much more viable than seen in the press.  It is our company’s position that the socket 7 has reached its end of life.
  • ASUS P2L97-S boards arrived today. We thank those of you who have been patiently waiting for the shipment. We now have a few extra boards in stock. We also have the new AGP 3000 video card ready to ship.
  • We have a GigaByte 686LX board in stock.
  • If you are planning on using an Intel Pentium processor with MMX technology, we have an AOpen AX5T-2 in stock. The board is $117.
  • Gracie and Einstein are playing in the puddles this morning. We had a small storm last night. Who volunteers to give them a bath?

Wednesday October 1, 1997

  • SuperMicro cases are still backordered.
  • AMD K6 233 processors are scarce on the market, and the price is high.
  • We adjusted the misprint on the GigaByte 686LX board benchmarks.
  • We are an executive partner with Crucial Technology, a division of Micron Technology. If you are looking for Grade A major-on-major memory, you may call Crucial directly at 888-363-2562 and they’ll take care of the shipping costs to you.
  • Intel Boxed AL44LX motherboards’ estimated time of arrival to Intel authorized distributors has been changed to the middle of October to early November. We will let you know if we see the boards before this time.
  • Intel Boxed Pentium II 300 MHz processors’ estimated time of arrival to Intel authorized distributors has been changed from today to the middle of October to early November.
  • Yesterday’s meeting with Intel provided some insight into the future direction of processors and motherboards. 
    Intel annouced that the Pentium I I with MMX Technology at 333 MHz CPU will arrive sometime in the 1st half of 1998.
    A n Intel representative confirmed Intel’s direction with the higher bus chipset.  They also confirmed that the slot 2 and slot 1 configuration will both be available in the market.  The slot 2 does not replace the slot 1.
    An Intel representative also helped us understand the Pentium Pro availability issue.  According to Intel, they are expecting dealers to “order” these processors.  In a 3-4 week time period Intel will “build” these CPUs for the orders.  They have not abandoned the socket 8.
    Now, you were curious about sustained transfer rate on the SDRAM modules.  A nice Intel representative reviewed the calculation.  An SDRAM module has a memory cycle of 10ns and 64 bits of addressing.  Therefore, 64 bit /8 = 8 bytes per 10ns.  This works out to 800 Megabytes per second.  Now, the DDR SDRAM II is twice this rate, or 1.6 Gbytes per second.  Still confused?  Try this link.
  • Thinking of Pentium II with MMX Technology CPUs....  Please notice how this is designated.  Intel doesn’t directly refer to the Pentium II processors as using MMX technology. In fact, many of their ads don’t even mention that there is MMX Technology inside this particular family of CPUs. 
    Curiously, Intel has spent millions trying to promote this technology, yet many dealers don’t even know the Pentium II has the MMX Technology.  After pointing this out to Intel, one representative said that stating it more clearly is “a good idea” and another one said “No, absolutely not.” 
    Consumers love to use nicknames, catch phrases, sound bites, etc.  Consumers also decide what to call this family of CPUs.  After all, one year ago we were told that using the term ‘classic’ when referring to a Pentium processor without MMX technology would never be accepted within Intel.  Hmmm.  So, we’ll talk about the PPMT and the P2MT.  That should do the trick.
  • Intel introduced its Boxed Server Motherboard, the Redwood.  Oops.  Make that the R440LX motherboard.  Sorry, we can’t use nicknames.  This is an entry level dual P2MT motherboard with on board Ultra SCSI, 10/100 NIC, and 1 Mb sVGA.  The cool feature for this board is the FRB - Fault Resilient Booting circuitry.  If one processor fails, the board can still boot.
  • The Intel 82443LX PCI/AGP controller is labelled PAC.  The other chip is labelled PIIX4 (pronounced Pick).  Yes, that’s right.  It’s PIIX and PAC.  Now who says Intel doesn’t have a sense of humor?
  • We’ve saved the best news for last.  Intel’s new Boxed motherboards will have a three year warranty.  But wait, there is more.  Intel also started a cross-shipment program if you need a board replacement for the VS440FX, PR440FX, the PD440FX, and the AL440LX  mainboards.

September 1997

Tuesday September 30, 1997

  • Technicians are gone for the day. If you have technical questions, please email techsupport@esc-tech.com
  • Benchmark results for the GA-686LX board are posted.

Monday September 29, 1997

  • Happy Birthday Joan!
  • We have extra ASUS T2P4 motherboards in stock.
  • We also have: AX6F board; TX97-E (only 1); and TX97-XE no audio (only 1).
  • Lora is getting on her soap box for a moment:

Biodiversity is relatively high in Indonesian forests. This area is home to 12 known / described non-human primate species. Orangutans, one of the four great apes living today  (people, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorrilas, orangutans), is found only in Indonesian lowland forests. Out of control fires are destroying their habitat and homes. (Yes, homes - orangs frequently build huts with roofs when it rains.)

Timber companies, plantation operators, and other sub-contracted companies in Indonesia that practice burning of Indonesian natural forests are responsible for these fires.

If you would like to help, please contact:

Dr. Barita O. Manulang, Orangutan Consultancy of WWF Indonesia Programme
Dr. Jito Sugarjito at Fauna and Flora International (FFI) (ffi@indo.net.id)
Willy Smit at Warnariset
Birute Galdikas - Orangutan Foundation International

Other people who may be helpful:

D.Ashari, former head of Zoological Association of Indonesia and Southeast Asia
Sujarwo, former of Indonesian Forestry ministry
A. Ramli, leader of Leuser International Foundation (Yayasan Leuser)
Dr. Emil Salim, founder of Indonesian Biodiversity Foundation
Soraya Affif, Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia
Bob Hasan Indonesian Forestry Society (APKINDO) - special advisor to President Soeharto with conservation projects

The government has allocated Rp.3.1 bn (about $1.07 m) to fight these fires. Smoke masks will soon be available in Kerinci. Unfortunately, the 1,500 rps are too expensive for many families to spend.

(source: paraphrased FFI message to Primate-Talk 9/29/97)

Sunday September 28, 1997

  • Here are some cool Intel rumors.  Apparently the chipset for the 100 MHz bus is behind, Ceramic MMX CPUs are on the way out by 2nd quarter 1998, and Intel feels embarrassed by IBM’s R&D department which patented copper technology in microchips.
  • And in the Microsoft corner:  Microsoft revenue stream will not be improved by all of their product delays.  Some prognosticators are saying that now is the time to sell MS stock.  Sounds pretty steep for such a high flying company.  Just remember, if anyone sells then that means someone else is buying.  So, you probably shouldn’t listen to the prognosticators. Follow your own judgement.
  • AOpen AX6L will be tested next week.  Hopefully the results will be available by Friday.
  • Did you know that the PIIX4 in the TX chipset is also part of the LX AGPset?  Therefore, if you are using Windows 95, make sure that you load the patch so that memory, ISA cards, all are seen properly by the operating system.  If you see the yellow bang next to “PCI host to ISA’ in the device manager, you probably didn’t load the patch.  You can get the patch from the manufacturer’s websites.

Friday September 26, 1997

  • We added more categories to our book list today.
  • A passenger plane crashed in northeast Sumatra today.  The fires are suspected to have influenced flight capabilities. Our thoughts are with those who lost family members.
  • Did you know that orang means ‘person’ and  utan is derived from a word that means ‘forest’ in Maylay? The Orangutan Foundation International has interesting points, behavioral and ecological information about these intriguing ‘people of the forest’. If you are interested in other non-human primates, the Primate Information Network is an excellent source for research, educational and other applications within primatology.
  • We have received extra AGP V3000 video cards.  We will now offer these for sale separately.  The cards are $176.00.  If you purchase an LX chipset board at the regular price we will add  the video card for an additional $166.75.
  • We’d like to thank the Sacramento UPS Center.  Last night a UPS supervisor and worker (Ed and Mike) were able to help us locate a person’s lost package.  They literally sorted through trailers of packages.  Thank you.
  • Thinking about thanks.  We’d like to thank everyone using the new shopping cart.  It has been working well. One advantage the cart has over the order form, is the security.  The credit card information is never transferred to us.  Instead it stays on the secure server.  You don’t need to worry about the information being lost in email.
  • Question of the day.
    Q. I receive an error message “The following file is missing or corrupted...” during the installation of OSR2.  I think my diskette is defective.
    A.  No, the diskette is not defective.  Line 12 of the CONFIG.SYS needs to be changed to your particular CD-ROM driver.  The AUTOEXEC.SYS and DRVCOPY.INF also need to be changed to reflect your particular CD-ROM.
  • In terms of the Intel boxed Pentium II 300 MHz CPUs, the official announcement was May 1997.  Therefore, all boxed 300 MHz CPUs are elligible for the Intel warranty.  We’d like to thank Intel for the clarification.
  • ASUS P2L97 and ultra DMA drives might not be seen correctly under DOS 6.22 FDISK.  After some preliminary tests, the complete capacity was not seen.  However, ASUS has given us a beta BIOS that we will try.  If you are using OSR2, you will see the complete capacity.

Thursday September 25, 1997

  • The availability of the ASUS P2L97 motherboards has increased.  We have several available for our systems.
  • The Intel Atlanta, AL440LX, has not arrived yet for testing.  We expect it approximately October 1.
  • Have you read Tim Allen’s latest book?  I’m not really here is an excellent one night reader.  Next time you visit your local bookstore you might want to grab a copy.  But be prepared to grab your sides from all the laughter you’ll be enjoying.
  • VIA announced support of DDR SDRAM.  This should give the product a much needed boost.
  • Pricing for the Pentium II 300 MHz CPUs has been bouncing around quite a bit lately.  The release of the boxed version to the gray market has caused a considerable headache.  Did you know that Intel is considering introducing its tray CPUs to the commercial distributors?  That could really change the market.
  • Are you planning on attending the fall Comdex?

Wednesday September 24, 1997

  • Hurricane Nora is flirting with the coast off of Baja and Southern CA.  Local forecasters are predicting rough weather in Phoenix for the next 24 to 48 hours.  If the weather is bad enough we may lose phone service in that area.  In addition, if the local internet infrastructure is affected, you will have difficulty in connecting to the Arizona website.  The Florida and Northern California sites should not be affected by Nora. We wil l post more announcements as new information is available. In the meantime, Al and Gracie are practicing their windsurfing.
  • For those of you who wonder why we are particular about selling Windows 95 OSR2:
    • As a Microsoft OEM, we try to adhere to guidelines of our agreement with Microsoft. 
    • Microsoft recently announced that a sweep of eight Southern California resellers accused of hard drisk loading produced five settlements and three lawsuits. Six of these eight targets also sold counterfeit OEM Win 95 to Microsoft investigators. All of the companies had previously been sent cease and desist letters for hard disk loading. Charges against these three resellers include copyright infringement and counterfeit distribution of Microsoft software.
    • Microsoft recently announced the results of a widespread hard disk loading sweep of Northern Virginia and Maryland computer shows. The investigation identified twenty-two resellers as hard disk loading. These resellers were sent cease and desist letters. Eight vendors continued to sell illegal systems with unlicensed software and were confronted with settlements (6 companies) or lawsuits (2 companies). Investigators also uncovered numerous copies of counterfeit OEM Windows 95, OEM Office and OEM Microsoft Mice at these swap meets.
  • We thank everyone who wishes to visit our facility, however we do not have a will call area at this time. Please be careful near our main door, Einstein and Gracie bite.
  • Alert about Boxed Pentium II 300 MHz warranty on pre-officially released processors.
  • We have a limited supply of TX97 boards in stock.
  • We have an Intel LT430TX and Intel Pentium 233 MHz with MMX technology in stock.
  • ASUS TXP4 board is available.
  • Intel Pentium II 300 MHz processors are available.
  • Check out our new book listings.

Tuesday September 23, 1997

  • We updated our Inside Intel information.
  • AMD K6 233s are in short supply. The price increased considerably.
  • ASUS TX97 series boards are still on backorder.
  • We added pricing on Corsair 64 and 128 mb 168-pin, SDRAM modules with ECC.

Monday September 22, 1997

  • The Western Digital 3.2 Gb drive we offer is model number AC33200. It has 256K cache and is an Ultra DMA/33 drive. There are some 3.2 Gb drives that are available on the market that are not Ultra DMA/33. If the first two digits of the triple C #  are A8 or higher then the drive supports Ultra DMA/33. If the first two digits are A2 or A1 then the drive does not support Ultra DMA/33. Now, there have been questions about an AC33300. Western Digital tech support does not show this as a current model number.
  • There is limited availability of ASUS TX97 series boards after today. We have boards on backorder, and should receive them later this week.
  • We have OEM Intel Pentium II 300s in stock.
  • ESC operates on a just-in-time inventory. We purchase products specifically for your order then assemble, configure, and test corresponding items together. These items ship together. If you are interested in parts being shipped separately, please let us know. We do not release motherboards without testing them, unless it is a sealed Intel Boxed motherboard and you’ve requested that package to not be open.
  • Corsair 32 Mb SDRAM modules dropped in price. This price will apply to new orders.
  • Memory is distributed in various grades. Parts start out as Grade A, those modules that fail certain tests are labled grade B, those modules that fail tests under Grade B category are labled Grade C, then down to Grade D. Generic memory is frequently Grade B, C, or D, and are major-on-thirds (the SOJs are soldered onto a third party board). We offer major-on-major Grade A memory through Crucial Technology, a division of Micron. Corsair Microsystems and Advantage Memory is also Grade A.

Friday September 19, 1997

  • If you use www.einsteinscomputer.com or know of a site that referred you from that site, please update your links to www.esc-technologies.com.
  • Attention International clients: If you would like to place an order with us, please fax your order request, billing address, phone number, email address, payment information, and signature to 916-671-6780.
  • Does ESC accept purchase orders?
    We do not accept purchase orders. All our prices are based on prepayment. However, if you are interested in purchasing memory only, then you may call Crucial Technology, a division of Micron, and they will accept your purchase order. (888-363-2562)
  • If you have problems with a product beyond our 20 day warranty, contact the manufacturer of the product and ask them how they suggest you proceed. Many manufacturers have direct RMA procedures. Other manufacturers ask that you return your product for repair through us. In these cases, we act as the intermediary, and only ship your product back to the manufacturer. We are not responsible for the time that it takes for the manufacturer to make a decision or repair your product. You are also responsible for any and all costs. We appreciate everyone’s patience during this waiting time.
  • Do you know who Al and Gracie are? Do you know where we are located? Check out these and other frequently asked questions about ESC and their answers.

Thursday September 18, 1997

  • Several people yesterday and today asked us about I/O shields for In-Win cases.  If you need a plate, we only ask that you confirm the style required and take responsibility for paying the shipping.  We will not charge you for the shield.
  • We’d like to thank everyone who is using the new shopping cart.  Some of you may have noticed today that we have added to the cgi script.  There is now a minimum weight of one pound.
  • We tested Advantage 32 Mb Toshiba on the SuperMicro P6DLS motherboard.  This combination seemed to work well together.
  • We have more Pentium II 300 MHz CPUs for sale today.
  • Factoid:  According to Press Releases from Micon - More than 50% of new machines are Pentium II based.

Wednesday September 17, 1997

Tuesday September 16, 1997

  • Question of the day:
    Why do I need to load the txpatch.exe file for my motherboard?
    Windows 95 was written prior to the introduction of the tx chipset.  Because the chipset is responsible for controlling video, IDE controllers, and memory functions, it must be recognized properly by the Operating System.  In Device Manager you will notice a yellow caution.  After loading the patch, new devices will be recognized by Windows 95 and you should not see any more yellow cautions.
         In addition, if you need the USB file, you can find this on our ftp site.  ftp.esc-technologies.com.
  • We have added new testing procedures for our product combinations.  Motherboard, CPU, and memory are stressed in different temperature environments.  We excluded the microwave option that was suggested by a new technician that didn’t understa nd we are not trying to destroy product.
  • The shopping carts for hardware and software have been opened for business.
  • Double Data Rate (DDR) SDRAM has been proposed by Samsung. Known as SDRAM-II, this technology uses a clock-doubling method in which data is written to, or read from, the DRAM at twice the memory-bus frequency.  Initial devices will operate 1.6 Gbytes/s with a 100 MHz memory bus; future generations may hit 2.4 Gbytes/s with a 150 MHz bus. 

Monday September 15, 1997

  • We will release the SuperMicro LX boards once SuperMicro is mass producing the boards.
  • ASUS P2L97 and P2L97-S boards are available.

Friday September 12, 1997

  • We apologize, but we must close early today. A family member’s memorial service is being held early this evening, and we would all like to attend. Someone will be here to answer the phones until 4 PM Pacific Time.
  • Special: OEM Intel PR440FX motherboards in quantity 10 or more $205 each. (Must purchase qty 10 to get this price)
  • We received another shipment of OEM Intel Pentium II 300s today. Please call if you are interested.
  • ASUS TXP4 motherboards are available. We should see the AXT counter part late next week. We’ll keep you posted.
  • ASUS P2L97 motherboards and P2L97-S boards are available today.
  • The GigaByte LX board arrived today. We’ll test it on Monday then let you know the results as soon as we can.
  • Advantage 64 Mb true parity modules are in limited supply. Advantage needs 4 lead days on orders.
  • We have extra Intel OEM Pentium 200 MHz processors with MMX technology.

Thursday September 11, 1997

  • We updated pricing on the workstations.
  • We have a new domain name at esc-technologies.com. This domain name is replacing einsteinscomputer.com. If you have any pages bookmarked on einsteinscomputer.com, please change them to either esc-tech.com, esc-ca.com, esc-technologies.com, or esctechnologies.com within September.
  • If you have technical problems today, please email techsupport@esc-tech.com. Technicians are not here to answer questions over the phone today. They will respond to your email as quickly as possible once they return tomorrow.
  • Layne is gone until Monday.

Wednesday September 10, 1997

  • An Intel Representative has helped us today locate 300 MHz Pentium II CPUs.  We appreciate the help.    Apparently there are different distributor part numbers that have caused confusion over the last two weeks. Phew. There will only be four extra CPUs on this shipment.  Please call us (do not attempt email) at 800-427-3726 if you are interested.  We most likely will not see more product until October.
  • We have extra ASUS KN97-X boards without audio in stock. We have Intel LT430TX and AN430TX with audio and video as well.
  • ASUS TXP4 boards are available. Other ASUS boards are still backordered. ASUS says they are working on increasing the distribution of their boards.
  • If the customer who called yesterday early afternoon (Pacific time) from Massachusetts would please call us, we would appreciate it. Our system went down just after you called.
  • Intel Boxed Pentium II 300 MHz CPUs are expected to be available early October.

Tuesday September 9, 1997

  • Eidea is fine arts exhibit that will be on display for approximately one month. The project is run by the Institute for Studies in the Arts.
  • Just learning about the world of computer components? We have a list of buying guides and product reviews.
  • Articles of interest: The two faces of 300 MHz and Hot Graphics PCs: AGP boosts 3D power
  • We apologize to all those we had to put on hold or ask to call back today. Our techs were working on our internal system. Hopefully, everything will be working beyond our usual speed tomorrow.
  • Remember, we assemble, configure, test, and ship your motherboard, cpu and memory combination.
  • The GigaByte LX board should be arriving tomorrow or the following day. We’ll post benchmarks as soon as possible.
  • If you’d like for us to email you a package tracking number you may leave a proper email address at the time of your order.
  • Attention on-line order form users: We would appreciate it if you would use an email address other than @hotmail.com or other non-traceable services. The rate of invalid and fraudulent orders with these email accounts is extremely high, and we have learned to distrust these requests. Thank you for your consideration.

Monday September 8, 1997

  • Create a creature at eidea. Its an interactive art exhibit that is on display on-line.
  • Corsair Microsystems 128 Mb SDRAM will be tested with the SuperMicro P6DLS and ASUS P2L97 motherboards as soon as the modules arrive.  We expect them in the next couple of days.  Pricing per module is $896.88.
  • Question of the day.
    Does the SuperMicro P5STE support the LS-120 drive? 
    O.R. Technology LS-120 Drive is supported by all of the motherboards that we offer from SuperMicro.  Older versions of the P5STE will require a BIOS upgrade.  Check ftp.supermicro.com for the latest BIOS releases.
  • 200 MHz OverDrive Processors are excellent upgrades for socket 7 motherboards.  If you have a socket 5 board, you should check with the manufacturer.  You may also look at the voltage regulator.  If it can handle 5 amp current, then you may be able to use this upgrade processor.
  • As a reminder: If you call us for technical support, then please make sure that you are in front of the machine.  You are more than welcome to call us. But a technician will attempt to determine the severity of the problems you are experiencing.  This is difficult for a technician if you are not next to the machine.  We are all sure that the friend you asked to help you is experienced.  We are all sure that your 5 year old is a genius and capable of programming the greatest java “killer-application”.  However, please realize that the technicians on our end try to mentally picture what is happening so that they can help you.  Please describe everything that is happening on your end.
  • Chuck the Duck memorial services were Saturday.  For these past 14 years Chuck preening in puddles and tried to teach chickens to swim in the northwest corner of Connecticut. After an extended illness and time at a hospice in a bathtub, Chuck didn’t survive a  heart attack. The memorial service was a private family gathering. Chuck now rests next to his beloved mate, Mocha, and friend the rooster. He is survived only by Stella the dog.  Please send sympathies to Al and Gracie who will terribly miss their cousin at heart.

Friday September 5, 1997

  • Question of the day
    Q. Should FAT32 be used on a new hard drive installation?
    A. FAT32 (File Allocation Table 32) was implemented under Windows 95.  Hard Drives above 2 Gb require partitioning under FAT.  However, under Windows 95 and FAT32, the drive does not need to be partitioned.  We have not seen any measurable performance differences between FAT32 and FAT.&# 160; Therefore, if you prefer one drive partition, then by all means use FAT32.  As a general warning, there may be utilities that do not operate properly under FAT32 and so verify that you software will function before converting.
  • For a great place to relax, check out www.first-tv.com  Layne’s personal favorite is “Cavemen: Greed’s Retribution”.  He just loves that Scrolling text at the end by David Cooper.
  • ESC Technologies does not spam.  We do not appreciate junk email and we suspect neither do you. It has been our policy to repect everyone’s privacy and therefore we do not offer our client list for sale to any company.  We do look at the demographics internally so that we know that those of you in Maine are not washed away by all of the New Yorkers who talk quickly with that accent we all love to immitate.

Thursday September 4, 1997

  • Most ASUS motherboards are still on backorder. We have a couple extra T2P4 boards arriving (@$139) as well as P2L97s.
  • We have 1 OEM Intel Pentium 166 without MMX technology in stock. Please call if you are interested.
  • We have Intel Boxed Pentium 166 with MMX technology and SuperMicro P5MMS98 boards in stock (our special this week).
  • An AMD representative contacted us this morning to follow up on our inquiry about the errors some Linux users were running into. Here is a paraphrase of the statement: They seem to be encountering erratum 2.6.2, which is fully documented in the AMD K6 Processor Revision Guide. The issue does not effect journal users of DOS and Windows. It appears to be limited to a special case of Linux kernel recompiling, where you receive an error after an extended time. AMD has made a design change in the processor that resolves this situation. AMD is offering to replace the processors of people who encounter this rare erratum. If this applies to you, then AMD needs some detailed information from you. Please contact AMD techsupport for more information.

Wednesday September 3, 1997

  • After spending more time with the SuperMicro P6DLS, the AGP card benchmarks versus the Matrox Millinneum doesn’t show a tremendous advantage.  Despite the fact the AGP video card from ASUS had 4 Mb RAM while the Matrox only had 2 Mb, the Matrox was just as fast or faster.  We will post all of the numbers for you to see.
  • Here is a section we are working on for future integration into the website.  This is an identification of the parts of the mainboard. If you have any suggestions on how to improve this page, please let us know.
  • The ASUS P2L97 motherboard arrived today.  We will get it onto the bench and run some preliminary tests.  Those of you unwilling to wait for our results, we are taking advanced orders and will ship your product as soon as possible.
  • The shopping cart is designed and functioning.  We are attempting to tie in the database from our accounting package so that the upkeep is faster and more efficient.  Please watch for the on line ordering system to change within the week.  (are you reading this Lora?!)

Tuesday September 2, 1997

  • We finally have preliminary SuperMicro P6DLS motherboard benchmark scores.  Using Winstone 97, NT Server 4.0, Intel Pentium II 266 MHz, and the Matrox Millenium 2 Mb PCI card (not AGP), the Overall Business Score is 78.7 and the High End Graphics is 32.3. We have not finished the testing with an AGP video card. 
    Here are some of the issues we ran across while trying to test this board.   First, none of our 32 Mb SDRAM modules worked.  The IDE channels did not operate correctly when these modules were installed.  Even an XCOPY from an ATAPI CD-ROM to IDE drive would be corrupt.  With the 32 Mb modules, disabling external cache, then the SCSI channels operated fine (obviously not the way to go).
    Only Ultra DMA hard drives operated correctly on the IDE channel.  Do not attempt to use EIDE drives.
    There are TONS of new BIOS settings.  We stuck with the Optimal settings for all testing.
    Once the modules were replaced with 64 Mb Corsair SDRAM modules, everything worked great.
  • The price differential for purchasing a pentium II system versus socket 7 is starting to shrink.  In comparing the cost of a system per Winstone unit, the numbers are very close.  For example, a TX chipset system costs approximately $17.50 per winstone unit; 440FX system costs approximately $19 per winstone unit; and the 440LX boards cost $21.50 per winstone units.  This is comparing an Intel socket 7 233 MHz CPU versus a Pentium II 233 MHz system.  Maybe someone reading this can spend some time comparing these price/performance units with other benchmarks. 
  • Intel has announced they are discontinuing the VS440FX mainboard.
  • For all of you trying to install Windows NT 4.0 through a DOS installation, make sure that you load himem.sys in the config.sys as well as smartdrv.exe 32767 in the autoexec.bat.  It will cut the time down extensively.

August 1997

Thursday August 28, 1997

  • We do not have an eta for the ABIT IT5H rev 2.0 boards at this time. We will post to the What’s New page when we know more information.
  • Intel Boxed Pentium 166s with MMX technology are available.
  • ASUS P2L97 is available through the distribution channels. Not all of the AGP video cards are available yet. Other ASUS boards are still backordered.
  • ESC will close Friday August 29th at noon. We will begnin answering phones Tuesday morning at 9 am PT. On-line ordering and fax ordering are available 24 hours a day.
  • We offer two different designs of Aavid fans: one that connects to the power supply, and the other that has a three pin connection to attach to the motherboard.

Wednesday August 27, 1997

  • The 3D Explorer 3000, 4 Mb SGRAM will be the first AGP card to arrive for testing with the SuperMicro P6DLS and the ASUS P2L97.  We will post results after these boards are running in a stable environment.
  • An AMD representative has stated that they are aware of the website documenting problems people are having with the AMD K6 and the Linux operating system.   These problems occur under certain environments that AMD is trying to reproduce.  The company is working diligently to address these issues.  Please do not contact AMD directly.   Presently AMD suggests limiting your total system memory to 32 Mb if you are running Linux.  We will post an update when we receive it from AMD.  Please respect AMD’s efforts to address these issues.  No yelling, punching, biting, screaming, or crying.  AMD will resolve matters as quickly as humanly possible.
  • Attention quantity buyers:
    We are working with a broker to sell promptly 1500 Intel PR440FX dual Pentium Pro motherboards with full features. Pricing is exceptionally competitive. The Broker has reduced minimum orders to 50 pieces.  Serial numbers are available if your purchasing agent needs them for your order.  Please call us at 1-800-427-3726 for delivery instructions or fax your request for purchasing to 916-671-6780. 

Tuesday August 26, 1997

  • The SuperMicro SKEII benchmarks were excellent.  The average overall business score was 76.5. (using a 266 PII). The Intel PD440FX came in second at 75.2 winstone units.  The board also came out on top for the High End Winstone97.
  • We are gathering more data for the Wintune 97 reports.  We will concentrate on the new product releases.  If you would like to submit your benchmarks, we would be happy to post them for others.
  • ASUS products are still not widely available.  Only the TX97-E was available today.  We do not have any time frames for all of the other TX97 mainboards.
  • The SuperMicro P6DLS will be available after the 13th of September.  First in small quantities and then later in larger orders.
  • The ASUS P2L97 is available in small quantities.  We are going to test this product before offering it.  However, the AGP-V300 we were planning on using is not available for two weeks.  Any suggestions on the AGP card we should look into using for testing?
  • QPA (Quad Port Acceleration) is a marketing term you will hear more and more.  The term describes the 4 port (thus the term quad) concurrent arbitration between the processor bus, PCI bus, memory, and the new AGP. We are use to the processor,  PCI bus, and memory working together.  Now we are adding the fourth component, the AGP, to the list.  In other words,  the chipset or AGPset, coordinates the processor, PCI bus, memory and now graphics.
  • Intel announced three motherboards which use the 440LX chipset.  The AL440LX, NX440LX, and DK440LX.  There is a photo of the AL440LX on the Intel website.

Monday August 25, 1997

  • SuperMicro has introduced several new mainboards.  These are the P6DLF, P6DLS, P6SLE, P6SLA, P6SLS, and P6DLH.
  • ASUS has introduced several 440LX mainboards, P2L97 and P2L97-s.
  • Check out Eidea, an evolving computer controlled environment. The site is coming along.
  • Holiday reminder: We will be closed Monday, September 1 for Labor Day.

Friday August 22, 1997

  • UPS is guarantying their delivery schedule again. New orders will be given the choice of Airborne or UPS. Packages from our distributors are still slow in arriving to us. Einstein and Gracie are relieved. As soon as they heard the news they went to sleep by the shop door.
  • ASUS motherboards are backordered. We’ll let you know when the situation improves. We do have a few T2P4 boards in stock now.
  • We have Intel Boxed Pentium 200 Mhz with MMX technology in stock.
  • AOpen AP5T-3 benchmark results will be posted as soon as we can.
  • ESC honors a 20 day warranty on products. OEM processors that are purchased with an appropriate fan have a 1 year warranty honored by ESC. Please read our policies page for more information.

Thursday August 21, 1997

  • We will slowly shift back over to UPS. Packages that are being delivered by other carriers are still slow. Remember we can email you your package tracking number when it ships.

Wednesday August 20, 1997

  • UPS trucks are on the road again.
  • It’s raining here in Yuba City. This storm set a record for amount of rain in August (and this is the first time it’s rained all month). Einstein and Gracie are practicing rowing in the puddles. We aren’t sure if they’re interested in crew competition or if they think they’re going to have to move product away because of the rain.
  • Remember that if you’re ordering a barebones system,  and you need a Toshiba 24x IDE CD-ROM we can order one in for you.
  • Bob is still out of the office.
  • Carl is helping out today. Thanks again, Carl!
  • All ASUS motherboards except the P6NP5 are backordered. Distributors are waiting for new boards to arrive from Taiwan. We have estimated times of arrival of late next week, but these are just estimates. We will accept new orders for these boards once the new shipment arrives to distributors.
  • ESC offers motherboards based on Intel PCIsets. Boards that use current Intel chipsets support up to 66 MHz bus speeds. Some board manufacturers have settings for higher bus settings on their boards. Using these alternative settings voids your warranties on all products in your system, and is considered overclocking. Moreover, using these settings can damage your system in anywhere from a few hours to a few months down the road. These settings stress motherboard, processor, power supply and once damage begins to occur to the electrical system, it ruins the entire system. This is a fire hazard. ESC is not liable for damage, and will not aid in you using these settings. If you do use these settings, and experience problems with components the only thing we can do is send your product on to the manufacturer for them to decide how to handle the situation.
  • Where did some sites go this week? Check out Internic’s apology letter.

Tuesday August 19, 1997

  • UPS has arranged to pick up Red, Blue, Ground as well as international products tomorrow. Our drivers have gone back to work! Einstein and Gracie are relieved that their breakfast bones will be delivered again. They’ve been complaining that the other carriers don’t pass out dog treats.
  • Intel Boxed Pentium 233 MHz processors with MMX technology are available.
  • We will remove GigaByte 586HX2 board at the end of this week. The product that is in the market is all that is to be manufactured.
  • With these product changes, where is ESC planning on directing it’s product line?
    • ESC is going to focus on the Pentium II and future products. We are planning on phasing out  socket 7 boards that do not support the AMD K6 processors. We will continue to pick up future products.
  • Quantum Fireball ST drives are on allocation. A few 2.1 Gb and 6.4 Gb drives are in the channel.

Monday August 18, 1997

  • ASUS has fallen behind on shipments of TX chipset boards.  First it was the Typhoon and then the factories went on vacation.  Boards that are available include the TX97-X with audio and the TX97-XE with audio.  All other TX boards from ASUS are backordered.
  • Rumor update:  A motherboard manufacturer has told us that Intel is no longer shipping them the 430HX chipset.  This means that all of the HX chipset boards are End Of Life products sooner than expected.  This rumor has not been confirmed by Intel (except that the TC430HX is marked EOL).  Intel explained to us earlier that the target time for discontinuing the product was fourth quarter.
  • UPS strike continues....
  • We removed the Intel TC430HX motherboard from our product line. Intel announced that they will accept orders for the board until 9/1 and then discontinue the product. We have 1 Boxed TC430HXU3 in stock.
  • Remember that Intel is phasing out their socket 7 processors and boards. Intel distribution efforts have shifted toward Pentium II related products, as well as future products.
  • Intel Boxed Pentium II processors are available.
  • Where did the link to all the buying guides go? Well in the rearrangement of the Tech Support site, some of the pages were renamed and moved to other directories. Links to guides and directories are now at www.esc-ca.com/html/places.htm.

Friday August 15, 1997

  • Business Day 10 of UPS strike.
  • Hooray! Cases are arriving. Layne’s been truckin. We have plenty of In Win AT full towers, mini ATX towers, and hopefully a few others by the end of the day. Shipping cases is the biggest problem, but give us a call and we’ll try to work something out.
  • Gracie & Al are failing miserably at dogsled training. It’s just too hot. They can’t even make it across our parking lot without laying down under a shady tree. The madness of it all.
  • We have extra ASUS T2P4 boards.
  • We decided to offer US Mail Priority with insurance service for domestic packages that are less than 2 lbs. This means small orders with value of less than $500 will have an alternative to Airborne.
  • If you need to see where your package is Airborne Express has a web site at www.airborne-express.com or you may call them at 800-247-2676 (800-AIRBORNE).
  • Please remember that carriers are not guarantying shipping schedules at this time. Medical supplies have priority over all other packages. Other packages are taking up to a few days to a few weeks to be delivered. Just sit back, relax, read a book and drink your lemonade.

Thursday August 14, 1997

  • Business Day 9 of UPS strike.
  • Seems like everyone’s getting creative with their shipping. Product is arriving by couriers, cars, trucks, and planes. And Layne’s getting a chance to accumulate his frequent driver miles. (Al and Gracie are in dogsled training.)
  • Our Intel rep is checking on the backorder of boxed processors. Thank you.
  • Quantum Fireball ST 6.4 GB drives are available today.
  • Looking for creative art? Go see the computer-controlled, artificial-life environment that is just going up on the net. It opens on September 4th. (But first Loren has to get back to help them finish it.) Check out a prior installation of the project.
  • Notice anything different with the Tech Support site? Layne uploaded his new toy last night. Only he forgot to coordinate with Lora about links, and now we get to fix broken links on the other web sites. Let us know what you think.

Wednesday August 13, 1997

  • Business Day 8 of UPS strike.
  • We appreciate everyone's patience as we slowly receive product to fill orders. We are filling orders by invoice number. When all products in an order arrive, they are tested then shipped together.
  • ESC operates on a just-in-time inventory. We order products in specifically for your order. It is taking approximately 10 to 12 business days from the time an order is placed and paid for to the time the product ships to you. Normally, it is approximately 5 to 7 business days from the time of order to the time you receive your product. Right now, the slowest part of the process is making sure product arrives at our facilitiy.
  • At this time we are not accepting new orders on cases, unless you are an extremely patient person and wish to wait.
  • < li>
    Availability update:
    • Micron memory: available
      Remember if you are ordering memory only, you can call 888-363-2562. Crucial Technology, a division of Micron will ship your product to you from the warehouse, plus they pick up the shipping tab.
    • Crucial memory: available
      We have 64 Mb SDRAM modules in stock
    • Generic memory: available
    • OEM Intel Processors: available
      Prices have been creeping around a dollar or two. Mainly, that's because of distribution issues that are not related to production of the processors. Small distributors that operate on a just-in-time inventory or low inventory are having a tougher time getting product quickly this week.
    • Boxed Intel Processors: backordered
      Many main distributors are backordered on the Boxed processors. They expected them to arrive at their warehouses at the first of the week. That did not happen, and everyone is waiting. And waiting. And waiting.
    • Boxed Pentium Overdrive units with MMX technology: available
    • AMD K6 processors: tight
      Many distributors have run out of inventory, and are hesitating on purchasing new inventory that is being sold at a higher price.
    • ABIT boards: varies
      IT5H boards are backordered until the new revision. We were told to expect the new boards to be released around the end of August to the first of September.
      IT5V boards are backordered. No eta.
      SM5s are available
    • ASUS boards: backordered
      ETAs range from August 15th to August 22nd. Product looks like it will be tight through the month.
    • AOpen boards: available, but take a long time to receive
      AP5T-3 sample has not arrived for testing yet. We are accepting orders.
      AX5T-2 is readily available. We do not have an eta for the -3 of this board. Distributors say it is not shipping from AOpen yet.
    • GigaByte boards: available
    • Intel boards: available
      We have one Boxed Intel TC430HXU3 in stock.
    • SuperMicro boards: available
    • Hard Drives: WD drives are backordered as are Quantum drives. We were able to purchase a few Quantum 2.1 Gb drives to fill backorders yesterday.
    • Cases: At this time we are limiting orders on cases. Carriers out of the Silicon Valley are limiting packages to about 4 lbs, and not providing door to door service on COD packages. We are going to drive in to pick up cases for current orders.
  • SuperMicro is located in two buildings on Junction Road in San Jose. The people behind the company are friendly, energetic, and very willing to listen to suggestions on how to improve their product and their marketing. They have worked hard these past few months trying to improve their technical support. They are very proud of their accomplishments.
  • So what is happening in the boxed program? Besides nothing? Yes, Intel is at it again. Intel tells us that rumors that they have warehouses full of product is false. Rumors that they are dumping product is more of an indication that they have a PR problem. The classic CPUs are definitely orphaned children. The new stars of the company include the Pentium II family as well as the Socket 7 CPUs with MMX technology. We've been told that Intel is selling the boxed product to OEMs. Yes, the product that could be in your hands is going to the OEMs. Instead of keeping the program focused, they have once again changed directions and interests.
  • Bob's surgery went well. He will continue bed rest. The next doctor's visit is scheduled for next week.
  • Reinforcements have arrived. Jeff and Rod arrived from the Bay area. Rod is on crutches. Loren flew in from Arizona. Joan is back on the shipping line. Phew.

Tuesday August 12, 1997

  • Business Day 7 of UPS strike.
  • We're a little short staffed today. We appreciate your patience on the phone and with your email. We'll help you as best as we can.
  • Carl is helping out today. Thank you, again.
  • Rod is at the doctors. He'll be back around the end of the week to the first of next week.
  • Layne is at a meeting with SuperMicro. He'll also try to pick up a few items at distributors that they have not been able to ship. We'll see what he comes back with.
  • Bob is still in the hospital.
  • We're sorry, but we are unable to accept new orders on the Elan Vital and PC Power & Cooling cases. We are still able to get a limited quantity of In Win and SuperMicro cases. Many carriers are not picking up packages over 4 lbs.

Monday August 11, 1997

  • Business Day 6 of UPS strike.
  • First it was the strike and no UPS. Then Rod left for vacation and was hurt. Carl decided to get some other work done and now Bob is ill. And if all that isn't bad enough, Joan has to stay with Bob. Who's left? Gracie and Al. They will each handle two phone lines so please speak clearly. They are in email training as this is being typed - so look for the paw print. WOOF.
  • The new support site has been delayed. Thank you for your patience. We realize the frames do not work - we were hoping to get the site completed earlier. (Layne are you paying attention?)
  • In light of everything, our suppliers are having difficulty shipping us computer cases. There have been extreme delays and we apologize. We were hoping to get to the bay area and pick them up. Albert failed his driving test and will be retaking it soon. Gracie is just too short to reach the pedals. Actually, the trucks are arriving daily, however, the cases are always missing (except SuperMicro - they have done an excellent job in getting their product out).
  • Intel has cancelled all backorders for classic CPUs in the Boxed program. We will no longer be able to offer these processors. If your motherboard is not able to handle the CPUs with MMX technology then please consider the Intel OverDrive CPUs.
  • Intel has asked us to remove the processor update utitlity from our FTP site. As many of you are aware, the P6 computer systems are not complete without running this utility. At intervals, Intel releases data files that need to be loaded into the BIOS. If you require this utility please contact Technical Support to make the proper arrangements.

Friday August 8, 1997

  • Business Day 5 of UPS strike.
  • We have in stock extra: Intel Boxed PD440FX; one ABIT IT5H revision 1.5; Boxed TC430HXU; and one TC430HXU with audio and video.
  • We re-arranged the enclosure page a little. We hope it is easier to read now.
  • We added OEM Pentium II 266 and 300 MHz processors with ECC to our price list.

Thursday August 7, 1997

  • Business Day 4 of UPS strike.
  • We appreciate how our customers are understanding delayed delivery schedules. Thank you!
  • At this time, new orders that include cases will be delayed. Because many carriers are limiting the size packages they accept for delivery, we are trying to make alternative arrangements to ensure we maintain inventory on cases. We will work with you as best we can, and we appreciate your patience.
  • Quantum 2.1 Gb drives are available off and on during the week.
  • Our distributors expect to receive their backorders on Intel Boxed processors on August 11th. (Yippeee. How long will they last?)

Wednesday August 6, 1997

  • Business Day 3 of UPS strike.
  • Carriers are placing size and weight constraints on packages. They are also limiting the number of packages one person can drop-off and allowing fewer packages at pick-up times.

Tuesday August 5, 1997

  • Business Day 2 of UPS strike.
  • We are shipping packages with Airborne Express. Delivery times are not guaranteed by carriers at this time. We receive packages from numerous carriers, and they are all backed up. They ask everyone to please be patient, as everyone is doing the best they can with the current situation.
  • We understand everyone's concern about their packages. We have had more calls from people asking if there package has shipped yet and if we are even shipping than we expected. Remember, we can email you tracking information when your package ships. This should help you track your package. We are appreciative of Airborne's delivery service, and all their help with our packages.
  • International shipments are also being delivered with Airborne at this time.
  • 1:40 pm update: US Mail delivered on-time again. We have not received our normal deliveries from other carriers yet.
  • Have you dropped a note to our government officials lately? Al Gore:vice.president@whitehouse.gov , Bill Clinton:president@whitehouse.gov , and Hillary Clintonfirst.lady@whitehouse.gov .
  • Intel Boxed TC430HXU3 is currently backordered from Intel to distribution. We do have inventory on this item as well as more TC430HXU with audio and video.
  • Intel released their Pentium 180 and 200 MHz Overdrive units with MMX technology yesterday. These processors can be used on Pentium motherboards that do not have the voltage requirements for the standard MMX technology processors. Overdrive units may be used on socket 5 or socket 7 processors that support 60 and 66 MHz bus frequencies.
  • I20 hardware is on the SuperMicro p6dnh. This motherboard ships by default in mode 0. This means the i960 is turned off and any memory put in the simm sockets reserved for the i960 will not be utilitized. In mode 0 bus bridging is operating by default. By adding memory and changing the jumpers to mode 3, you activate the i960 chip as well as the capabilities of the memory. (note there are only two modes on this motherboard). The type of memory you can use is 4 Mb SIMMs or 8 Mb SIMMs; filling the bank with EDO, FPM or Parity FPM (parity not used). The speed is defaulted to 70ns memory. The SuperMicro p6dnh2 will use a different i960 chip. The newer chip's performance is double that of the i960 on the p6dnh. However, do not expect the performance of the motherboard to double.

Monday August 4, 1997

  • What a day.
  • Toward the end of last week we began sending your packages via Airborne Express. We will continue sending packages with Airborne until UPS guarantees shipping schedules again.
  • We apologize that we had to increase our prices on memory and processors a percentage because of our recent increased shipping costs. Our distributors have had to shift to alternative carriers and we are having to pay a higher delivery fee than usual.
  • Also, the time that we are receiving product is not on our usual shedule. Some products that we are waiting to receive are still in the UPS system. Other product have a delayed shipping time because of carrier loads. Unfortunately, this means that products are going to be delayed in getting to you too. We are anticipating that the time from the order and payment of funds to the time you receive your product will be 7 to 10 business days for most items.
  • 2:50 pm update: US Mail delivered today. Packages that we expected to arrive today still have not been delivered. Remember, carriers are not guarantying deliveries. Airborne Express will be here at 5 pm to pick-up packages that we are sending. At leastGracie and Al will have someone to bark at.
  • Reminder: Intel Pentium chipset motherboards only support up to 66 MHz bus frequency. Settings beyond this are not intended for use, and voids your warranty with manufacturers, and with ESC. Using these alternative settings is considered overclocking. Please keep in mind that overclocking your system taxes the electrical components. We see boards with these settings burn out anywhere from a few hours to a year down the road. Power supply, boards, and processors melt down. This is a potential fire hazard in your home or business. ESC is not liable for your actions.
  • It is our understanding that our local Federal Express office stopped accepting new packages at 2:30 pm. The planes were full at this point, and they could not accept more packages into their system.
  • Interesting thought: All other carriers comprise 20% of deliveries daily. UPS usually moves 80% of packages daily. During this union discussion, UPS has set medical deliveries as their first priority.
  • 5 pm update: Fed Ex did arrive. Gracie and Al barked until they were given their bones.

Friday August 1, 1997

  • Yes, it's August and this is still the July page. We were hoping to get a few other changes to the site made before today arrived. Well, we didn't quite make it. So we'll create the August page in a bit.
  • We're sorry, but we do not accept collect calls. If you do not want to pay for your phone call, perhaps you could email us your questions. We'll try to help as best we can. If English isn't your primary spoken language, we will still do our best to help you. We can read a few sentences in Spanish, German, and French, and other languages we can always find someone else to help out.
  • Have you read about our company ? Maybe you'd like to learn a little about Al and Gracie ? How many years has ESC been around? Did you know that we're located in the downtown enterprise zone of a Northern California city? Check out our faq page for some answers to those questions. If you can't find the answer to your question on our sites, then please email us so we can answer the question for you.
  • A new shipping revision of the SuperMicro P5MMS98 will be available toward the end of next week.
  • How many pages do we have on our sites? Around two hundred HTML pages. We hope you don't get too lost. (We are working on re-organizing some of it.)
  • Why isn't ESC on Pricewatch anymore? We were on pricewatch.com for about a year. Recently, Pricewatch shifted from a price comparison chart to advertisment listings. Currently, we are not advertising on Pricewatch.
  • Where can I find price comparison guides? Go see our places.htm , perhaps it will help you find the information you need at an outside source.
  • Last summer memory prices seemed to dictate where someone bought their components. This summer, we've noticed that our processor pages are the most heavily hit. Which processor is available for the best price seems to be a deciding factor in what and when people buy.
  • We have extra Intel PD440FX without audio and OEM TC430HX with audio and video in stock.
  • Western Digital 4.0 Gb OEM drives are available today. Quantum 2.1 Gb Fireball ST drives are available too

February 1997

Monday February 24, 1997

  • Question of the Day: When will the new TX boards be available?
    Everyone is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new TX PCIset motherboards. Distributors expect to see the ASUS boards after the first of March. We won't have pricing on these new ASUS boards until after distributors receive their shipments. SuperMicro will release their P5MMA after March 1. Pricing is posted on http://web.archive.org/web/19970228001931/http://www.einsteinscomputer.com/prcsuper.htm.
    We'll post benchamark information for you as soon as we can get the boards.
  • Question: Do you have EDO/ECC memory?
    EDO/ECC memory is available through our internet partner, Crucial Technology, a division of Micron. You may call 888-363-2562 to ask questions and order.
  • Should we pick up Kingston memory? Please let us know at: presales@einsteinscomputer.com

Wednesday February 19, 1997

  • ASUS announced 5 new motherboards based on the 430TX chipset. Model numbers are TX97, TX97-E, TX97-X, TX97-XE, and TX97-XV.
  • Pentium Pro with 1 Mb L2 Cache should be available in 4th Quarter 1997. Intel is positioning the Pentium II, Pentium Pro and Pentium with MMX into different market segments.

Tuesday February 18, 1997

  • Intel formally announced the 82430TX PCIset for Pentium and Pentium with MMX motherboards..
  • SuperMicro officially released the P5MMA motherboard.
  • AMD K5-PR-166 is available for shipping for $210.00 and the PR-K5-133 price has dropped.
  • Samples of the Gigabyte 586TX motherboard will be available approximately two weeks.

Monday February 17, 1997

  • Generic memory prices increase again. Manufacturer's slowdown of 16-megabit chips and the shift to 64-megabit chips is causing a 'shortage'.
  • Toshiba shifts to 64 Mb chips in response to downward pricing trend of 16 Mb.
  • ASUS AT Medium Tower arrived. Model T-10 AB has six drive bays, sparkle power supply, and is tool-less for removing the side panel.
  • Happy Birthday Leanne
  • Lora is back from her two week vacation

Inside Intel Update - February 17, 1997

In case you haven't noticed there is a large gap between the writing of these web pages. Intel and ESC have had numerous conversations regarding their product line. Between the holidays, the New Year's Day flood, and vacations we have not devoted ourselves to this page. We would like to thank all of you emailing us for the continuation of this section. Unfortunately December 1996 was overwritten.

In summary:

January 8, 1997 was the introduction of the Pentium MMX CPUs. Shortages of the boxed program occured almost two weeks after the introduction of the product. One week prior to the newly released commercials touting the MMX CPUs the OEM market price was increasing because the product was short in the box program. Are the shortages a miscalculation or a plan to drive demand?

Asian boxed product has been entering the US market. The third tier distributors have been offering Intel boxed product. This product was originally sold in the Asian market and then brought to the US. Because the demand for the boxed product is greater than Intel is supplying to the US, the Asian product has been filling the void. According to Intel Technical support the same warranty applies. This means you would go back to the place of purchase.

February 7, 1997 brought a huge suprise. Instead of announcing a 300 MHz P6, Intel provided information concerning a 400 MHz CPU.

Friday February 14, 1997

  • Valentine's Day
  • According to PC Week the Pentium II is the new name for the Intel CPU formerly referred to as the Klamath. Who thinks of these names? Pentium II ... Geesh.. do you think that they were up all night thinking of that name? Why not just add to the confusion. Hmmm... Pentium, Pentium Pro, Pentium with MMX, Pentium II... What were they thinking? Pentium II would have been a good name for the Pentium with MMX, Pentium Pro II would have been acceptable (barely) for the Klamath. Intel must really hate computer salespeople. I feel sorry for the salespeople who are going to try to straighten this mess out !! "No Mr. Purchaser, you really want the Pentium IV with DSP. Ahem.. I mean MMX3 release 2.06"

Thursday February 13, 1997

  • We will be adding the Gigabyte motherboards to our product line next week. Key features include CPU voltage autodetect, 6 SIMM sockets, and PS/2 mouse cable included with motherboard cable set. This is a good entry level HX chipset motherboard.

Wednesday February 12, 1997

  • GigaByte GA-586HX motherboard arrived for testing.

Tuesday February 11, 1997

  • Internet security issues were discussed in Washington D.C. C-SPAN carried the gathering live this morning. Government regulations were discussed. If you are interested in this topic, now is the time to voice your opinion to your representatives.
  • Intel OverDrive 166 MHz with MMX Technology will be released March 3, 1997. If you have a socket 5 or 7 motherboard you will be able to use this product. Pricing is expected to be in the same range as the Boxed Processor.

Monday February 10, 1997

  • We have a limited supply of Boxed Providence motherboards ready for shipping. If you are interested please give us a call.
  • Corsair Microsystems has announced a 128 Mb ECC/EDO DIMM module. Price is $1498.00. Resellers should call for pricing.
  • We have paperwork for GigaByte motherboards. Should we pick up this product line?

Saturday February 8, 1997

  • Yesterday Intel showed a 400 MHz microprocessor, 7.5 M-transistors, .35 micron at IEEE conference in San Francisco.

Friday February 7, 1997

  • Those of you who've been watching this website for awhile have figured out something is different this week. Yes, it's true. Lora went on vacation. My baby sister will return February 18, 1997. Therefore I've been trying to manage all four web sites. Now you know who the main brain is behind this operation!
  • Microsoft stops NT development for PowerPC. I realize this isn't a hardware issue, but the influence of this decision is pretty dramatic. Ole Billy Bob must be running mighty scared to pull the plug. What's he scared of today? Mr. Paranoid knows that the Intel platform will face heavy competition this year. Therefore he's going to shore up support to protect his R&D investments. Is it a smart move? Time will tell. Personally start looking at the PowerPC line more seriously. With the Stevie twins back in action at Apple and Motorola's engineering brains working overtime, expect 1997 to be a year on the edge. Pretty exciting stuff for the nerd crowd.
  • Klamath delayed to May was actually yesterday's news. This is from an internet article by PC Week. The reasoning is to release the 233 MHz and 266 MHz at the same time. A pseudo "one-two" punch.

Thursday February 6. 1997

  • There seems to be some confusion from what I wrote yesterday. I take full responsibility for not clarifying the differences between the September orders and what is commonly found in the market today. The US Boxed Pentium Pro 200s (Part Number starting with BP) and the Asian Boxed Pentium Pro 200s (Part Number starting with ABP) are two separate items. The pricing of these two products is very different. Both come in bo xes from Intel but the distribution is different. The Intel US Sales Team does not get credit for the product beginning with ABP. It also costs more because it is not sold through Authorized Distributors, but instead by Third Tier Distributors. The ABP are readily available whereas the US supply has been poor and/or non-existent. It was the BP product that arrived yesterday and was sold out almost immediately. I apologize for not being clear yesterday.

Wednesday February 5, 1997

  • Boxed Pentium Pro 200s from our September order might arrive in the next two days. If you are interested please call us. The price is set at $612.72 for quantity one.
  • Boxed Pentium 200 MHz with MMX have shipped from the distributors. We should receive them in the next couple of days.
  • For tracking DRAM fluctuations try this URL http://web.archive.org/web/19970228001931/http://www.aice.com/
  • Intel Overdrive for the MMX will be released in March 1997. We will be adding the benchmark for this CPU in a couple of days.

Tuesday February 4. 1997

  • Boxed Providence back orders should be filled in the next two weeks. ETA 2/17/97

Monday February 3, 1997

  • Intel 430TX chipset will be released on February 18, 1997. Watch for new product introductions by Intel, SuperMicro, and ASUS.

January 1997

Friday January 31, 1997

  • We would like to thank Mr. Lam from Georgia Tech. You are a very honest man. Thank you.
  • Grade A Micron Memory is now available through ESC Technology. Our on-line ordering for it will be set up soon. For now, please call us for ordering these memory items.

Thursday January 30, 1997

  • Backorders at distributors for Intel Boxed Pentium 200 MMX's are increasing in numbers. We're still taking a list for notification if our backorder number comes up soon.
  • Intel Boxed PR440FX are backordered again until second week of February through some distribution channels. Call for availability since it changes daily.
  • Intel Boxed Pentium Pro 200 Mhz available today. $712 each
  • You asked for Micron memory only so we're continuing to develop a relationship with Micron. Crucial Technology, a division of Micron Semiconductor Products, Inc is finalizing plans with us today. Soon we'll have a place where you can specifically request Micron memory, and we'll send it to you with Free Fed-Ex shipping.

Wednesday January 29, 1997

  • Generic memory prices are still high, but have stayed the same for the last two days.
  • Pentium Pro 180's and 200's through the OEM channel have increased in price these past two days. Distributors say that they expect the price to remain high through this week. Pentium Pro 200 Mhz, 512K cache are extrememly difficult to find. Distributors are hoping to receive more from Intel early next week.

Tuesday January 28, 1997

Monday January 27, 1997

  • Our area of Northern California is experiencing rising waters in the rivers and streams again. Many areas in Yuba and Sutter county are being placed on voluntary and mandatory evacuation. Our thoughts are with and best wishes for those families who are having to leave their homes once again this month.
  • If you're interested in a Pentium Pro system you may want to carefully watch the market. It's rumored that Intel is going to release the Klamath sooner than expected (early 2nd quarter), which means the Pros will continue to disappear from the market.
  • Memory prices continued to increase today. We decided to switch from generic memory to Techworks memory until the generic prices are more stable. Call for pricing. We'll get it posted as soon as we can.
  • CPU prices will drop a little this next week. We expect the major change to be with the Pentium 133 MHz. Since MMX CPUs are scarce, it's doubtful that we'll see a price change with them.

Friday January 24, 1997

  • We set up an IRC chat room. Please stop in and see who is around. If you are using a 14.4 modem the initial wait may seem slow.
  • Memory prices are increasing. We are seeing a jump of $10 to $15 per module. As of 2:30 pm we are not quoting prices. If you do not have an immediate need for RAM, you might want to consider waiting for the prices to settle down.
  • Where are all the CPU's?

Over the last few months we've seen heavy allocation of Intel CPUs. Currently, Intel Boxed Pentium 200 Mhz with MMX and Pentium Pro's are extremely scarce.

Estimated time of arrival of the MMX ranges from next week to mid-February for distributors. Intel will ship a limited supply to distributors each month. At least they will be available. We're told by Intel reps to expect the MMX's to be tight in the market through 2nd quarter.

Boxed Pentium Pro 200 Mhz are still on backorder from Intel to distributors from August. Boxed Pentium 180's have more recently become scarce. It depends on the day as to whether they are available.

Boxed Pentium 150's availability is also limited. Intel stopped manufacturing the Pentium 120's and 150's last year, and the surplus is almost gone. 150's availability changes daily.

There are brokered versions of the MMX, Pentium Pro, and Pentium 120s in the market.

  • Intel's PR440FX Boxed is still on backorder from Intel to distributors. The OEM version of this board is readily available on the market.

Thursday January 23, 1997

  • Pricing for Intel Pentium microprocessors is expected to decrease significantly on February 1, 1997. Watch pricing very carefully. We are not expecting the newly introduced Pentiums with MMX technology to drop in price.
  • We are reviewing specifications concerning Intel's BB440FX and other Intel server products.
  • Over the last four days we have been busily benchmarking Pentium Pro systems using motherboards from ASUS, Intel, and SuperMicro. Hopefully this list will grow as we have time to review all the boards that we offer.
  • RAM prices are fluctuating again. In the final hours of the afternoon we saw a 2 - 3% rise and several suppliers were complaining of shortages. It sounded more like gouging.
  • Our hearts go out to the families in Wheatland that had to evacuate due to another break in the levee. We wish all of them well. Yes, it's raining here again! They are expecting more rain over the next couple of days. Water levels on the river reached 57 feet. Yuck.

Monday January 20, 1997

  • FAQ of the day: "Does the SuperMicro P5STE support the MMX(TM) CPUs?"

The Shipping Revision of the P5STE is 3.0. It supports the 166 MHz and 200 MHz Pentiums with MMX. If you have the 2.0 revision the BIOS will report the 200 MHz as a 166 MHz.

Watch JP11 and make sure the voltage is set to 2.8 (2.9) V. See page 1 - 4 of the manual. Early releases of the manual had misprints.

  • What fan should be used with the OEM 200 MHz Pentium with MMX?

    PC Power & Cooling model 1.9T is a good choice for these CPUs. The 2.3 model is for the Cyrix CPUs.

  • When are the 430TX motherboards going to arrive?

    As soon as Intel publically announces the new chipset, then the manufacturer's will announce their product. If anyone is interested in seeing a picture of the two BGA packaging used with this chipset, see http://web.archive.org/web/19970228002226/http://www.achme.com/

  • What is the P6T and the P55CT?

    These are the code names for the Overdrive Processors.

  • ASUS announced two enclosures. Yes, actually this is old news for many of you.

Friday January 17, 1997

  • Intel Boxed Pentium 200 MHz with MMX product should be watched very carefully. The major suppliers are already back ordered with estimated times of February or March.
  • Popular Email Questions this week:

    What is the Venus 2 motherboard?
    The Venus 2 motherboard is the Intel VS440FX motherboard with USB support.

    Model Numbers Description
    VS440FX Pentium Pro motherboard
    VS440FX-AA above with audio
    VS440FX-AAUM Pentium Pro, USB, no audio
    VS440FX-UAAM Pentium Pro, USB, and Audio

    Can I use the new MMX CPU in my old motherboard?
    Your motherboard needs a socket 7, support for split dual plane voltage (2.8V), and may require a BIOS upgrade. Always verify your particular motherboard and revision with the manufacturer before installing the CPU.

    What motherboards do you offer that support MMX technology?
    Pentium motherboards offered by ESC that support MMX:
    ASUS P/I-P55T2P4 rev 3.0 or more recent (AT and ATX)
    ASUS P/I-P55TVP4
    Freetech 586F62T and 586F63T
    Intel TC430HX
    SuperMicro P5STE

Wednesday January 15, 1997

Tuesday January 14, 1997

Monday January 13, 1997

  • AMD-K5-PR166 processor was announced today. This is a Socket 7 hardware compatible delivering performance equal to or better than a 166 MHz Pentium.

Thursday January 9, 1997

  • We updated the Benchmark page to include the MMX (TM) CPUs.
  • Heavy purchasing of the Intel Boxed Pentium w/ MMX technology CPUs. For volume purchasers these two products should be watched carefully.

Wednesday January 8, 1997

  • Intel Boxed MMX CPUs are available today. We can accept orders for them. For pricing see: www.einsteinscomputer.com/prodtxt.htm
  • We spoke with several Intel Representatives concerning the availability of product. Intel also wanted to know about the success of the MMX (TM) CPUs. We expressed the need to get greater quantities into the market. We also expressed that many of you have been waiting for these CPUs.

Tuesday January 7, 1997

  • Conversation with Intel about PR440FX and MMX CPUs:

    What will be on the final Boxed PR440FX?
    Intel's web site has a preliminary specification sheet of the PR440FX listed on their web site. However, there are errors and we don't know which final options Intel will chose to manufacture the board. Intel motherboard tech support thought that it should have audio (CS4236 Crystal sound); built in SCSI; Lan adapter; and USB. Also, we know that it uses EDO/ECC DIMM modules that are 50 or 60 ns (not 15 or 16 ns as the Intel spec sheet shows). We've requested a final spec sheet and are waiting.

    When is the board going to be available?
    Intel released a limited quantity in their 51st work week. Those boards are already committed. Distributors don't know an estimated time of arrival of more boards.

    When can I get the new MMX 166 and 200 MHz?
    The official release date of information is January 8, 1997. Yes, tomorrow. Unfortunately, Intel and distributors won't tell us more until then. We'll have pricing and availability for you as soon as we can.

Monday January 6, 1997

  • We're moving back to Bridge Street today. Unfortunately, it will take us a few hours drive time then set up of equipment so we can get everything organized again. We thank everyone for their patience.

Friday January 3, 1997

  • Flooding in Yuba County. Our best wishes go out to those families and friends who have and still are re-locating. Over 50,000 people in Yuba and Sutter Counties were placed on mandatory evacuation in the middle of the night. Thank you to all volunteers who are on levee patrol, Coast Guard, Beale AFB, OES, and other public workers.
  • We're setting up servers, product, testing, and shipping area in a temporary location.

Thursday January 2, 1997

  • Removed inventory and sales orders from building.
  • ESC unable to open for phone business due to State of Emergency. We forwarded telephones to one line at a temporary location, and asked clients to contact us via e-mail only. The Yuba-Sutter district is under a State of Emergency, limiting telephone use to emergency only.
  • Wednesday January 1, 1997

  • Sutter and Yuba counties placed under voluntary evacuation order due to extreme river heights and potential flooding.
  • We went into the ESC center to move servers.
  • December 1996

    December 1996 postings by ESC Technologies What Is New Website.